Saturday, October 30, 2010

I like Melbourne

I like Melbourne. It might be unfashionable, but it's a really lovely city. The drought seems to have broken, the dams are filling, there's an air of anticipation with Cup Day almost upon us. The trees are green again, (did we lose as many through drought as they expected?) and the city seems genuinely welcoming, and dare I say, during the day at least, it's a good place to visit.

There are more coffee shops and cafes than you could shake the proverbial stick at. The serviceable chains are well represented: Hudson's, Gloria Jeans, Starbucks, but more interesting are the smaller owner operators. And they offer good coffee. You want it organic? no problems. Fair Trade? just down the lane. A richer brew? over the road. You only drink soylatte? fine, that's there too. You'd like to sit outside and watch the passing parade? you'll certainly join a vibrant throng doing just the same. Yes, we're certainly well served by fabulous cafes, with some interesting graffiti to ponder when you tire of the cafe scene.

The First Tuesday in November. A date we know and love! After the lack of public holidays through winter, this one is very welcome. The boutiques are pulling out all stops to outdo their competitors, and entice the cashed up, glamorous young ladies in. But this is the first time I've seen golden rose petals complete with glitter strewn outside; surprisingly, no one had stomped on them during the frenetic lunch hour.

But alongside this commentary on coffee lover's heaven, I suppose I should mention in passing that yesterday there was a small downside.

It's spring, there was a gentle breeze, and the Plane (?) trees are showering the city in confetti seeds. It looked delightfully pretty, fluttering down in a persistent shower, sneaking under table legs, settling on the car windscreen, sneaking into underground carparks. But the citizens are suffering. Pharmacies and corner stores are stocking up on tissues and anti-allergy medications - spring fever seems to have hit big time. People are red eyed, snuffling, sneezing violently and wetly; soggy tissues abound.

It's safer to seek safe haven in the airconditioned food halls than risk a shower of sneezed droplets at an outdoor cafe on a day like yesterday, perfect as it - almost - was.

And why does Melbourne get such bad press? Because after the (almost) perfection of yesterday, today it's raining, and the forecast for tomorrow? Heavier rain. I haven't checked what they're predicting for Tuesday, but my recollection is of painful sunburn one year, and paddling in floodwater later the same day. Keep's you on your toes though don't you think?


Boonie S said...

Interesting view. Thanks for this.

All the best, Boonie

sue said...

Hi Boonie, good to have you drop in.

Cheers. Sue

Leone said...

Thanks Sue .... great post .... I think it made me homesick, well the bits about the cafe's and the coffee did .... then you got to the weather and I realised I was not so homesick anymore ... L0L...

"People Sick" yes ... but not homesick!

I miss my people.

sue said...

Leonie, oh, the weather's not really that bad is it? As long as you're prepared with the sunscreen, brolly, windcheater and gumboots everything's fine ;)

Seriously, I understand people sick, and for me the smell of the eucalypts is something I miss even after a couple of weeks away.

The internet is great for keeping in touch isn't it, but I hope you get to visit your people often.